Horry County gun ordinance one step closer to becoming law

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County leaders passed the second reading of an ordinance that will limit where people can and can’t shoot guns in the county.

Council members have gone back and forth on the decision because they don’t want to limit any second amendment rights, but with the rapid growth and congestion in Horry County, members say the environment has to change.

Numerous residents of Horry County have gone before county leaders to say they’ve had property damage and worry for their safety because people shoot guns so close to their homes.

If passed, the ordinance will make it illegal for anyone to shoot a gun in a “reckless manner.” Council members define reckless handling of a gun as any type of gunfire that would endanger people, like shooting into neighborhoods. Doing so would result in a misdemeanor charge with a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

Councilman Dennis Disabato was the only council member to vote against the ordinance, claiming as it’s written, the ordinance leaves room for misinterpretation and difficulty to clearly identify criminal action.

“I just think it’s going to be difficult for solicitors to get convictions with the way the ordinance was drafted, and if that’s the case, you might as well not have an ordinance at all,” said Councilman Disabato. “I would have rather seen us gone back to the drawing board with the ordinance and put together something that would actually be easier to identify and define what the criminal behavior would be and then, therefore, make it easier for a jury or a judge to make the decision if someone acted in a way that was harmful to other people.”

The ordinance needs to pass one more reading to become law.